AAMSept2003 is a fan made page of a long forgotten project in the United Kingdom that aimed to bring more awareness about the immense treasures that exist in archives and libraries across the UK. United Kingdom is a country with a long history that has been kept in volumes and volumes of manuscripts, parchments and documents written over several centuries all of which are stored, but rarely analyzed fully, in huge archive building and libraries. Archive that I work in has for the past few months actually started using small indoor drones for inspecting items at the very top of the shelves. New volumes keep getting added and catalogued, but are rarely examined to find out what kind of secrets they actually hold.
We are living in a time of budget cuts after all, and what better place to cut funding than something so boring and unimportant like archives and libraries. I’m quite surprised that we got the indoor drone thingy that I mentioned a while back. Don’t get me wrong, the geek in me loves this little guy, it makes my life a whole lot easier, but when I see that at the same time there’s no money to fund actual research, it breaks my heart to be honest. Hence me and a couple of colleagues of mine have took it upon ourselves to bring back to life the Archive Awareness Month campaign, that was active, but shutdown all the way back in September of 2003. With this websites we hope to renew public interest in finding out more about our history by funding deeper research into our vast archives.
Latest archives news
I get asked this often by my friends when I'm extactic about finding a new first edition of a book, what makes it so important, why are first editions of a book so sought after by blokes like me? Well, there's a couple of reasons why first editions of a …
Today I thought I should give some advice for anyone who might be interested in purchasing used books in London. I know you're probably thinking that London is a big city and finding a good used bookstore shouldn't be a problem, especially now that we have the internet to help, …
Importance of United Kingdom archives
There is a total of some 2.389 archives that exist in the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). They hold millions upon million of pages of documents, books and parchments each of which holds a piece of our country’s history. There are also photographs, artifacts and other objects of historical importance that are stored in the archives. Talking about archives is the last thing on peoples minds, especially when there’s talks about NHS cuts, teachers not being paid enough and let’s not forget about the looming crisis that Brexit is. There are many pressing issues that have to be dealt with, and we get that. What we’re trying to point out with the resurrection of the Archive Awareness Month, is that by ignoring our national archives, you run the risk of losing huge chunks of country’s history to dust, mold and pests.
The 2.389 archives that exist in this country hold everything that we know about not just the UK, but countless other countries that were once part of the British Empire. UK archives are divided up into 5 categories, national, local, university, special and business. They are all important, but some are more important than others. National archives are huges building, with stacks of documents so high you need indoor drones in order to easily inspect the items at the very top. Local archives are usually smaller, but there’s much more of them, same thing goes for university archives. Special archives are a category of their own. They are usually smaller, but that’s why they represent almost half of all the archives that UK has, with around 1224 special archives. Business archives are like their name suggests, business archives that hold archived business documentation.
Archives are the place you go to when you want to find out about your family tree, about the history of the royal family, or about a particular war or a peace treaty from the past. Universities and various researches are constantly studying archive documents and finding new information about our history as a country. For example, have you ever read a news piece about the number of Word War II veterans who are still alive to this day? Well it’s a safe bet that the newspapers have pull that information from one of the national archives. Important scientific research, modern research that relies on data from the past for comparison couldn’t be done if we don’t have archives from which we pull the data. Archives are very important and we don’t want to see them lose funding, or worse, being force to close down.
From the world of books
Great thing about a newspaper archive is that it allows you to travel back in time. You type in a date and find out what was happening in UK and around the world. Luckily the British newspaper archive is available online and can be browsed for free, well it can …
First time that the Archive Awareness Month or AAM, as in AAM in my website name, the first time that it took place was all the way back in 2003, which is another piece of information which can be discerned from my website name. Since then it did took place …
Discovery of old books
Books are another huge love of mine. It’s no wonder really, because I do work in the archives, where we mostly handle books. What I really like doing is hunting down the first editions of books. Especially rare titles that are difficult to find. In spare time I will go on a walk, visiting thrift stories, book depositories and used books stores in my city in search of great finds. My favorite book is Jane Eyer and I must have dozens of copies back home of this book. I’m trying to find a copy of the book released as close as possible to the first edition, but seeing how it’s a very popular book, that isn’t as easy as it looks.
By collecting old books, first editions, I guess I’m trying to save a part of history, in my own way. It’s just something that I’ve always been doing and you know what they say, old habits die hard. From time to time you can expect to find articles where I talk about my latest book finds. I like bragging about the books that I find. Especially when I find an amazingly rare book just tossed in a bin in some random book store. In that situation, not only that the people who got rid of the book didn’t knew its value, but also those at the store didn’t recognize what kind of a gem they had.
Those are pretty much the two things that I plan on covering with this blog, archives and book. These are some thrilling topics and I’m sure I’ll have a following in the millions, 🙂 . Maybe I should be more honest and say hello to my one guest with that famous “Hi, Mom”., 🙂 . In either case, thank you for coming to my website and I hope to see you around more often.